Archive for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Commercial projects progress

March 30, 2006

A host of new businesses soon will dot the Lansing landscape. Several commercial developments are nearing construction and two projects already under way anticipate completion this year.

At a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lansing Depot Shops on March 22, Ron Van Meter, president of Carlson Construction Management expressed his excitement about the plans.

"It's a very nice project, with very attractive buildings," he said of what will be a two-story, 12,000-square-foot project.

The second floor of the development is slated for office space, while Van Meter hopes to lease the first floor to a mix of retail and restaurant businesses. He is confident there is ample demand.

"Our goal is to be fully leased and up by the end of the year," Van Meter said, adding that though no one has signed a contract to locate at the site, a number of prospective tenants had shown "considerable interest" in the project.

Other construction companies have noticed the demand for space in Lansing's growing community. Scott Fishman, co-developer of Carriage Hills Plaza near the Holiday Inn Express, says he and his partner plan to complete construction "sometime in early summer," and he too is experiencing high demand.

Fishman said construction on the sites for two planned restaurants - an Arby's and a Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits-to commence within the next month. He also said that he is in preliminary negotiations with two more tenants, and suspects a third restaurant may join the project.

"We have a number of national food operators who are interested in the last pad site there by the Holiday Inn," Fishman said. "I'm confident that one of them will take the plunge."

While these retail complexes near completion, the first two members of the Towne Center project are nearing construction. Both First National Bank of Leavenworth and MidAmerican Bank are finishing their plans and anticipate construction to commence within a few months.

Rick Schneider, vice president of First National Bank, said the bank was nearing final approval from the city.

"We've got our final plans ready to submit to the city planning and zoning. We've been in the process of receiving bids, and we're nearly finished with that process," Schneider said.

"The design is near completion, acquisition is done, and we're looking for groundbreaking in late June, early July."

First National Bank has planned a groundbreaking ceremony at the Towne Center site for 10 a.m. April 19, though construction may not begin until several weeks later. Schneider said he hoped the new branch would be a great asset for First National patrons.

"We're very optimistic. We've heard very positive feedback from our customers," he said.

The other current player at Towne Center, MidAmerican Bank, reported that it too is nearing construction. Pete Payne, president, could not comment on the current timetable for the project, but expected updated information in about a week.

"We have all of our architect designs done and we've taken bids," Payne said.

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